Cut to the Chase

Info_CutToTheChase.jpgI had all these wonderfully creative titles for today’s post. I’m sure you’ve seen variations of them from around MLB.com or throughout the internet. Usually, I’ll create a headline to be somewhat deceptive in who is ultimately named Yesterday’s Hitter. The trouble is everybody on the planet already knows who the best hitter was last night.

So, let’s just cut to the chase.

capt_ws19611030346_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws196.jpgBut, before we hand out the hardware… there were certainly some worthy candidates in Game 5 I’d like to acknowledge.

Let’s start with the Philadelphia terror.

capt_ws16911030207_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws169.jpgYes, he was at it again last night (even broken bats didn’t slow him down). Johnny Damon is just giving the Phillies Phits in every at bat. He worked his way on again in the 1st inning when he battled Cliff Lee for a single. He later scored on Alex Rodriguez’ double to give NY a quick 1-0 lead.

59ec02425cf020c15e4bdfb261f04895-getty-92198041cc062_new_york_yank.jpgJohnny would go on to have another stellar day at the plate, getting on base 4 times. He had 3 hits, scored twice, knocked in a run and walked. Johnny now has the highest batting average (.381) of all the regular players in this year’s World Series.

Did I mention Alex Rodriguez? Yea, the same guy that started out 0 for 8 with 6 K’s is coming alive at the plate. He had two doubles last night (one that just eluded a diving Ibanez) and knocked in 3 RBIs.

capt_ws42211030301_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws422.jpgAfter that O’fer start, Alex has raised his average to just above the Mendoza line at .222, not too shabby A-Rod. His 3 Ribs gave him a NY Yankee Post Season record of 18!

Jimmy Rollins started the Philly comeback in the 1st with an aggressive at bat. He swung at AJ’s first pitch (remember this? AJ was a 1st strike king in Game 2). Even though he missed it.. it proved to be a game plan for Philly. Rollins singled to start the rally. He ended up with 2 hits and a walk, scoring once.

Raul Ibanez had a nice Game 5. He knocked in 2 runs with 2 hits and had a very important Home Run late in the game. His 7th inning blast proved to be just the cushion the Phils needed to secure the Game 5 win.

capt_ws18211030303_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws182.jpgJayson Werth is just knocking the dog snot out of the baseball. He hits everything hard. Sure, he only had one hit in Game 5. But, he crushed the ball all over Citizens Bank park in nearly every at bat. Brett Gardner can testify to how hard Jayson is hitting the ball.

capt_ws17011030210_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws170.jpgGardner made a spectacular catch on a Jayson Werth drive to left center. Jayson is hitting just under .300 for the Series.

r2653496169.jpgPoor Ryan Howard, he went from the penthouse in the NLCS to the doghouse in the WS. Howard struck out two more times last night to tie Willie Wilson for the most in a World Series, 12.

capt_ws16111030138_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws161.jpgIf I were Charlie Manuel, I’d certainly consider flip flopping Howard and Ibanez in the order. It couldn’t hurt, could it? I’m betting on Howard to hold the K record all by himself before Game 6 is over.

Speaking of Game 6.. .how lucky are we? It’s been 6 years since the World Series has gotten to this point. I know I’m happy.. but my bet is Jane is a little tweaked right about now ; ) 

And now, without further ado… our Yesterday’s Hitter!

69d604ee78e1b4ae15967b5af37c183a-getty-92198108cc101_new_york_yank.jpgI said it in Game 1. Chase is so calm, so focused and …. so good! He has continued to deliver throughout the Series. His 1st inning HR immediately jump started the Phillies and the crowd and propelled them to a Game 5 win. Oh, and did I mention… that HR came off of the very 1st Pitch he saw from AJ Burnett! Think he doesn’t study the game? You don’t get this good without having a plan. The difference is Chase not only has a plan, he is so “on” right now that he can execute it flawlessly.

921f9d96b6ccd9878650677b44b00652-getty-92198108cc109_new_york_yank.jpgChase hit another HR (tying Reggie Jackson for most in a WS!) in the 7th that seemed to be just a tack on run. That HR proved to be the Game Winning run! Why? Because those Yankees never stop. They kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny.

In fact, they brought the tying run to the plate in the 9th inning with nobody out and Derek Jeter at bat! I’d have to say that of all the at bats in Derek Jeter’s career, he wishes he could have a do-over on that one. A Presidential Mulligan.

capt_ws17811030254_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws178.jpgA hit in that situation could have possibly snatched the game away and given the Yankees their 27th title.

And speaking of the 27th… has anybody noticed what number Chase Utley wears? Ya… 26. Do you think he’s trying to tell us something? ; )

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Congratulations Chase Utley – You are Yesterday’s Hitter!  

 

Go Johnny Go!!

1c997ae4944d6bec97b31de0366511cf-getty-92198041cc179_new_york_yank.jpgOn the one hand I was so thrilled to watch this game play out the way it did. It was riveting. On the other, I was saddened. With the Yankees up 3 Games to 1, it doesn’t seem likely that the World Series.. and baseball.. will be around too much longer in 2009.

2e70d4be59f0cd79d24dce1bbf62fe8c-getty-92198041cc182_new_york_yank.jpgWhat a fabulous game though. It could go down as one of the more memorable in recent history. Certainly, it will pop up as a highlight in the New York Yankee World Series annals.

The game was a bonfire from the very first inning as the hitters dug in and took control of the game, much like Game 3.

Derek Jeter opened with a single and was immediately pushed to 3rd with another ringing double by Johnny Damon. They would both go on to score to put the Yankees on top 2-0.

59ec02425cf020c15e4bdfb261f04895-getty-92198041cc062_new_york_yank.jpg

The Phillies were not going to roll over for the Yankee machine. They also brought their bats to Citizens Bank Park. Shane Victorino singled and was knocked around to score by Chase Utley’s mammoth double that nearly cleared the fence. Chase has ripped CC Sabathia the entire Series. Just like that it was a 2-1 game.

ea58c20ff347b1b92126b88e5a3a64be-getty-92198041cc068_new_york_yank.jpgBig Ryan Howard actually got wood on the ball in Game 4, a much needed sign for the Phillies. His controversial run in the 4th tied the game at 2. He “almost touched” home. Yet another gaffe by the Post Season Umpires. Even so, it did not diminish the game in the slightest.

c7c7d3a639279b99478f24d263b3cc31-getty-92198041cc082_new_york_yank.jpgThen the game got even more fun to watch, if that’s possible. The Yankees came roaring right back in the 5th inning behind their two catalysts, Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon. Jeter’s top spin single through the left side of the infield scored Swisher.

9a5a399d0e80616f13bff8dc67d75a3b-getty-92198041cc103_new_york_yank.jpgAnd.. just like in the 1st inning, Johnny Damon followed right behind the Captain – swatting a run scoring single of his own.

cc59fcda27bc3f5b80d6599809660b96-getty-92198041cc109_new_york_yank.jpgThe battling Phillies went from a tie game to down by two again. Not to worry. They would come back!

Chase Utley disposed of CC Sabathia again in the 7th inning with another bomb to right field. His 3rd off of Sabathia in the Series! We had ourselves a nail biter at 4-3 going into the bottom of the 8th. Look at his perfect swing plane approach to this pitch! Bye bye baseball.

capt_ws40911020259_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws409.jpgPedro Feliz has quietly put together a solid World Series. True, it’s his defense that gets him the notoriety. Yet, with the pivotal Game 4 on the line, Pedro crushed a Joba Chamberlain fast ball into the left field seats to tie the game! 4-4 in Game 4!

8b6e1c7e697d127f1ab6d447e59a120b-getty-92198041cc159_new_york_yank.jpgA game the Phillies were fighting for. A game they desperately needed. Would Pedro’s heroics get him the YH?

Unfortunately, for Pedro (and the Phils), the problem was this guy named Johnny Damon.

9b284580151948980cf40b53b89c6dde-getty-92198041cc065_new_york_yank.jpgThe Phillies’ Demon. He’s been everywhere, doing everything so far in this World Series. He keeps coming up with big at bats. Game 4 was his finest moment. Down 0-2 in the count with two outs and nobody on, Mr. Damon refused to give away the out. He battled Brad Lidge for 9 pitches before knocking what seemed to be a harmless single into left field.

Not so harmless when you have the will to win. Johnny’s baseball instincts are as sharp as any player’s in the game. He showed them off in Game 4. Taking advantage of an infield shift, Damon bolted for 2nd base on the first pitch to Mark Teixeira. Safe!

e256b8740dd082938846a505eb509219-getty-92198041cc204_new_york_yank.jpgImmediately popping up and outracing Pedro Feliz to the empty base at 3rd, Damon had demonized the Phillies and completely rattled Lidge.

Alex Rodriguez followed Mark’s HBP with a blast into the left field corner that scored Johnny. All hail Alex for coming through, that hit was clutch.

capt_ws41511020347_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws415.jpgBut, the real hero is Johnny Damon for his miraculous battle at the dish and his daring maneuvers on the basepath.

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Congratulations Johnny Damon – You are Yesterday’s Hitter!  

Contents Under Pressure

 
capt_ws40511010126_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws405.jpgAfter suffering through two games of mesmerizing pitching performances, you had to know the offenses on these two powerhouses would explode at some point.
20070403figure6.jpgDid they ever. Six Homers and 13 runs in Game 3! It wasn’t necessarily due to a bad pitching performance at all. It was a matter of good hitting. The pitching was good, save for maybe a small melt down by Andy Pettitte in the 2nd that caused him to fall behind 3-0. Other than that, I don’t think you can blame the pitchers.

Ya just gotta tip your hat to the hitters.

 
01029636_detail_a.jpgWell, most of them. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are an exception. They continue to pull their strange World Series disappearing act in Game 3.

AndersonR_468x665.jpgSpectacular in Game 1, non-existent in Game 2 and 3. Talk about disappearing, the same can be said about Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano. Where is Houdini?

There were, however,  plenty of hitters alive and well in Philadelphia last night. Let’s get to The Contenders:

Hideki Matsui – 1 AB, 1 Hit, 1 Run, 1 RBI. Manager’s just love that line. Generally it translates into a Pinch Hit Home Run. In this instance, it was indeed a PH HR. Nice job Mr. Pro Hitter.
r3146102579.jpgJohnny Damon – 4 AB, 1 Hit, 1 Run, 2 RBI. Johnny has had some clutch hits so far in the World Series. Last night’s laser double to right in the 5th put the Yankees ahead for good.

r1830206640.jpgAlex Rodriguez – 2 AB, 1 Hit, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 2 HBP. Alex came into Game 3 in a slumber at the plate. The Phillies made the mistake of waking him up in his first at bat by plunking him. Next time up, A-Rod’s bat came out of the deep freeze. His HR to right field bounced off the Fox camera. After the first ever Post Season review… the game changed from a comfy Philly lead to a nail biting 3-2 contest.

argm3.jpgJayson Werth – This guy just continues to impress. He hit a bomb in the 2nd inning off of a very good Pettitte spinner. It was not a bad pitch. It was a very good hit.

capt_ws41111010224_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws411.jpgThat HR sent Pettitte into a little side wobble that cost him 2 more runs. To Pettitte’s credit, he recovered just fine. Werth later hit a Massive Blast to left field for his 2nd HR of the game and 7th of the Post Season!!!

capt_ws42311010350_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws423.jpgCarlos Ruiz – Another player that continually comes up with Post Season hits. Usually they are clutch. Unfortunately for Carlos, the game was pretty much out of hand when he belted a HR in the 9th inning. Still, don’t overlook this guy for doing something special later on.

The Finalists:

Andy Pettitte – When Andy escaped the 2nd inning down 3-0 the game had the kind of feel that it would be tough for the Yankees to score on Hamels. Cole had yet to give up a hit in the game. Then came the A-Rod HR and the game changed. Swisher doubled in front of Andy Pettite. Andy was paying attention, got the same curve ball and deposited it into Left to score Swisher and tie the game!

r2356361383.jpg A Huge hit that started a 3 run rally to give the Yankees the lead. Andy’s RBI hit was the first for a Yankee pitcher in the World Series since Jim Bouton (Ball Four!) in Game 6 of the 1964 World Series. Cool Andy… very cool.

Nick Swisher – What was that comment we made about A-Rod’s bat coming out of a deep freeze? Okay then… Nick’s melted out of that freeze. Hot! Hot! Hot! (See Sony commercial). Nick’s aforementioned double to lead off the 5th was a result of finally paying attention to what the pitcher’s were doing to get him out. He did figure it out, smoked a double off of a nice curve ball (teaching Andy along the way) and scored the tying run.

capt_ws41711010315_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws417.jpgI was extremely impressed with Nick’s base running on Pettitte’s single. He saw the hit, correctly deduced the angle, dropped his head and never even hesitated… Scoring on a very close play at the plate. Pure hustle. Had he not committed himself immediately after contact, he’d have been out.  The very next inning Nick blasted one half way to the moon for his 2nd extra base hit of the night.

capt_ws42111010337_world_series_yankees_phillies_baseball_ws421.jpgAnd…. the winner is:

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Congratulations Nick Swisher – You are Yesterday’s Hitter!

 

All squared at one

My Boots.jpgAJ squared away the 2009 World Series with a magnificent pitching performance in Game 2. His control, command and concentration were evident from the first pitch. In fact, every first pitch all night long!

capt_ws19210300241_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws192.jpgPedro? Well, Pedro was pretty good too. I actually thought the Yanks would rough him up a little more than they did. He was wily. He was calm. Pedro’s experience showed with every batter and he made quite a few Yankees look a bit lame.

46b67791dd93f1cacbc1a9252d079eb3-getty-92343117mh188_philadelphia_.jpgBut, hey… enough about these pitchers. This is about hitters. Sure, pitching wins Championships as they say… but you can’t win if you don’t score runs and the pitchers don’t score runs ; )

So, since those darn pitchers were so glaringly good.. let’s talk about who is definitely not Yesterday’s Hitter.

How about Ryan O’Howard. Hmm… O fer 4 with…. 4 strikeouts. Definitely not YH material.
be699fb94b45d29175c6566f32d279ab-getty-92343117mh205_philadelphia_.jpg Let’s see…. Chase Ut-O? Nope. Not so good .. O fer 3.

Jayson Werth? Victorino? Naw.. .2 fer 8 between em… and one was a lil dribbler.

fedc9ddc6af1ca6fb9e72e9c7a8065ad-getty-92343117mh174_philadelphia_.jpgRaul Ibanez… not so bad. A couple of ringing doubles and scored the only run.

Matt Stairs… thankfully NY scored and erased the only productive hit on Philadelphia’s side of the ledger. If you hit that same ball to O’Rod 10 times.. he’d catch it 9. At least!

Did I say O’Rod? Well, if the shoe fits… now O fer 8 in the Series with… 6 Strikeouts! No YH for you bud.

96088847ab47c165017e35ea09d637d9-getty-92343117mh145_philadelphia_.jpgPre-game hype had a host of speculation on Jose Molina catching and possibly switching Posada to the DH. Let’s tip our hats to Girardi who made the right calls. Molina did a fabulous job of handling AJ… check.

Posada is NOT the DH (smart move) and enters to PH and assume the catching duties. Posada hits an RBI single.. Yes Joe, way to go. But, sorry no YH for Jorge.
capt_ws32110300253_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws321.jpgMark Teixeira. How could he not be? What an incredible moment and at bat for him in the 4th. After suffering through the wily ways of Pedro for what seemed like an eternity, the NY fans were even becoming disenchanted with their “who’s your daddy” chant.

4e942568b088f0f3dd16cfee4ab4eafb-getty-92343117mh162_philadelphia_.jpgThe place was like doomsville, until Mark hit that bomb to deep right center. What a swing Mark!

76efa9427388c4dc1911aa6792a2b5fb-getty-92343117mh104_philadelphia_.jpgBut.. sorry bud, no YH for you. You see, you can’t win if you don’t score more runs than the other guy. Mark? Well, he merely tied it. It was this guy that wielded the most potent bat of the night for New York.

c167f2918e6fef6d1e2a80beef23654e-getty-92343117mh152_philadelphia_.jpgGodzilla! He walked, he singled, he bothered the heck out of “your daddy” on every at bat. Until, finally Peter made a mistake. It wasn’t much of one. In fact, maybe Godzilla was the only hitter that could take that ball off his shoe tops and drive it out of Yankee stadium. Well, maybe one other guy.. and just maybe.. the ghost of The Babe was digging Godzilla : ) 

55110276bbfbf239d17fb41fe7bef8cd-getty-92343117mh146_philadelphia_.jpgFunny, watching the post game shows. We never saw Hideki interviewed. I imagine the language barrier had something to do with it. Or, possibly.. .Hideki was being mobbed by the Japanese media and never had a chance to breathe anywhere near a Fox camera.

Well, we’re giving you the kudos now Hideki.

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Congratulations Hideki Matsui – You are Yesterday’s Hitter!  

Chase(d)… off a Cliff

5be7a129f2f6131274054a4bce942228-getty-92343071_bma_235_laa_nyy.jpgOne game does not make a series. The Yankees can be thankful for that. Even so, an early statement has been issued by the Defending Champion Phillies; If you want the title, you are going to have to take it!

capt_ws31410290346_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws314.jpgUnlike their AL adversaries who gladly handed the Yankees win after win with poor baseball fundamentals, the Phillies were on in every facet of the game. Well, almost… a very late inconsequential error (or was it?) allowed the Yankees one teensy little run in their 6-1 whipping.

Not to say that CC was not doing his job. He pitched extremely well. Yes, he gave up two runs. The Phillies lineup just puts pressure, pressure and more pressure on opposing pitchers. CC was feeling it.

2272e2905dfd05226aaf88f0c18d9cb5-getty-92343071cc115_philadelphia_.jpgThe Phillies get on base. They populate the base paths. They threaten you from #1 to #9 in the order. They treat every pitch as an opportunity to score or drive in a runner.

b786f24d4a3decb44b817016bab2ecbd-getty-92343071cc129_philadelphia_.jpgCC was good. He just wasn’t able to hold off the inevitable pressure. Take a look at what happened to the Yankees when he stepped out of the game. The moment CC left the game, the runs came in bunches. Not a very appealing sight for Girardi and the Yankee fans.

capt_ws20110290317_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws201.jpgAs great as CC was, Cliff Lee was above and beyond. Of the two best friends, Cliff was the better… again! My bet is that the two didn’t share a friendly beer after this one though. The battle is on. The friendship can wait.

40c3354a77e77ee4ee0589c1bfec69d8-getty-92343071cc166_philadelphia_.jpgCliff Lee’s fabulous complete game against the powerful Yankee lineup was fun to watch. He was perfect with his pitches. He upset timing. He fielded the ball with boyish exuberance. He got lucky on a comeback and grinned from ear to ear. Mostly though, he was just mesmerizing to the Yankee hitters. Ten strikeouts, three to the hottest hitter on the planet – Alex Rodriguez.

capt_ws21510290349_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws215.jpgThere was nobody more locked in for this game than Cliff Lee.

Well, let me take that back. There was one other guy. Chase Utley. What a hitter. So patient. So calm. So…. good.

By now most of you have read about the incredible records Chase set (or equaled) last night. His first inning walk broke a tie with Boog Powell for the most consecutive games to reach base in a Post Season – 26. His 6 pitch walk set the tone for the Phillies offense. A 2 out walk that started a rally.. .extended the inning and put CC on task to fight for every out.

His 3rd inning Home Run put him in a select group for Home Runs in Game 1 of a World Series. More importantly, it put the Phils on top. Again, he made CC work. 9 pitches later, he deposited the ball into the stands.

d4ecf5a2ed7766aacda9643753b87f66-getty-92343071cc104_philadelphia_.jpgBy the 6th inning CC had to hate to see Utley come to the plate. Hats off to CC, he came right at Chase with two quick strikes. The thing about Utley though, is he is patient. He doesn’t mind hitting with two strikes. He is confident and he is good. Pow! Another ball deposited into the right field seats. 2-0.

capt_ws31210290203_aptopix_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws312.jpgAnd with that Home Run, Mr. Utley joined none other than the Sultan of Swat – Babe Ruth as the only two players to club 2 Home Runs off of a LH pitcher in the World Series. Wow. Need I say anymore?

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Congratulations Chase Utley – You are Yesterday’s Hitter!

Peter, Peter Yankee beater

Cat and Emma… this one’s for you : )

81WS.pngWith the excitement of Game 1 in the 2009 World Series upon us, let’s roll back the clock and find ourselves a Yesterday’s Hitter for the ages.

It’s October 28,1981… Game 6 of the World Series is played in the Bronx between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. LA had lost the first two games of the Series in the same ballpark and fell behind the powerful Yankees 0-2 before traveling back to the West Coast.

The friendly confines of Dodger Stadium were just what LA needed.

fmania.jpgThey swept 3 games from New York and took a 3-2 lead in the series for Game 6.

But, hold on a second.. a little history about this whacky season for Major League Baseball.

The 1981 season was marred by a strike.

wlbballstrikesm.jpgThe season was broken into two halves of approximately 50 games each. The strike began in June and ended in August. MLB commissioner, Bowie Kuhn, made the decision to crown the playoff teams as those who had won “the first half” and “the second half” in each Division.

The problem with that skewed thinking is that it left out the two best teams! The Cincinnati Reds had the overall best record in baseball at 66-42. They were left out of the playofffs because they did not win either “half” of the season. The same went for the St. Louis Cardinals who had the best overall record in the NL East, but failed to capture either one of the two “halves”. So, to put it mildly, the Playoffs and the Series were not representative of the best baseball had to offer in 1981.

However, it did feature the hottest commodity in baseball – Fernandomania!

bb-sakoguchi-112-valenzuela-dodgers-fernando-mania-mexico.jpgFernando Valenzuela’s rookie year with the LA Dodgers was nothing less than spectacular. He won his first 8 games (5 by shutout) and gave LA a force on the mound. He joined Jerry Reuss and Burt Hooton on the bump.

The Dodgers had their steady eddie infield of Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey and were Skippered by Tommy Lasorda.

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 The Yankees featured sluggers Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield. Their pitching staff was loaded with Dave Righetti, Ron Guidry, Goose Gossage and Tommy John (who started Game 6).

steve_yeager.jpgWith John on the mound in Game 6, the Yankees rode the unexpected power of Willie Randolph to an early lead. Willie clubbed his second HR of the Series (a solo shot) in the bottom of the 3rd inning. The Bombers had the lead 1-0.

LA’s offense had been pretty hot in 2 of the last 3 games and they came right back to tie the game 1-1 on catcher Steve Yeager’s RBI single.

In the bottom of the 4th… the game began. This is where the blogging would go crazy (if they had such a thing in 1981).

Hooton gave up a leadoff double to Graig Nettles before settling down and getting two quick
tommy_john.jpgouts. Since the game had no Designated Hitter at the time, Hooton intentionally walked Larry Milbourne to get to Tommy John’s spot in the order.

Yankee skipper, Bob Lemon decided to PH for Tommy John and sent Bobby Murcer to the plate. TJ went a little haywire in the dugout (which was not lost on the Dodgers) when Murcer harmlessly flew out.

Buoyed by the controversy in the Yankee dugout, the Dodgers struck in the 5th. The Penguin (Ron Cey) knocked in a run to give LA a 2-1 advantage. Then Pedro Guerrero tripled home two more and LA had New York by the throat.

YankeesChoke-736122.jpgThey piled on again in the 6th when Yankee pitching committed the cardinal sin of walking the opposing pitcher with one out. If there were such a thing as a Rally Monkey… it would have been jumping in the Dodger dugout.

RallyMonkey.jpgDavey Lopes followed with another walk before Bill Russell singled home Hooton to give LA a 5-1 lead. Unfortunately for the Yankees… they were not done scoring. After the 6th run came home on an error, Pedro Guerrero stepped up and delivered another 2 RBIs on a 2 out single.

Pedro would go on to Homer in the 8th and ended Game 6 with an incredible 5 RBIs. Pedro, Ron Cey and Steve Yeager shared the first ever Co-MVP award in the World Series.
comvp.jpgAnd why not? There had already been so many firsts for baseball in 1981 – capped by the LA Dodgers being the first (and only) team to have ever lost the first two games on the road and wind up as the World Champs.

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Congratulations to Pedro Guerrero – You are Yesterday’s Hitter!

 

 

Johnny Be Good

mlb.jpgWell, it’s finally here… the 2009 World Series will feature two powerhouse teams. For the 40th time the AL will be represented by the New York Yankees. They will have their hands full in trying to beat the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies for their 27th World Series Title.

These two played for the title in 1950.

capt_6691e631a1c746edbb5ed283acc6f1f0_world_series_1950_phillies_yankees_ny158.jpgOddly enough, it was the Yankees as the defending Champions in that matchup. The Yankees swept Philadelphia in 4 games.

In Game 6 of the ALCS last night it appeared the Angels just might postpone that reunion. They had a strong outing from Joe Saunders and took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning on a Bobby Abreu single to right.

bd0e83cd4ce15d9e48a30d30c356a106-getty-.jpgThat was about all she wrote for the Halos. The Yankees had yet to lose in their new digs this Post Season and last night was no exception.

The main players in the NY lineup came out to play. Jeter was on base 3 times (all walks), Tex had 2 hits, A-Rod had 2 hits and was on base another 3 times with a free pass. It was a walk in the park for Alex all night long.

2790870889_c6d66f50b1.jpgBut, the damage was inflicted by the #2 hole, Johnny Damon. His 4th inning at bat with the bases loaded proved to be the key that unlocked the door to the World Series. Damon drove in 2 runs with his patented one handed swat.

68631cd3c0409b72b36b5f6e9a13b3e1-getty-.jpgThe all time Post Season leader in wins took the reins and led the Yankees to the ALCS Championship.

e6d538150898fc265633c559629529e5-getty-.jpgThe Angels again floundered in the field, committing one gaffe after another. Poor base running, inability to throw a ball 50ft, unable to catch a soft toss.. and on and on and on.  

It appears the New Yankee Stadium has the same magic as the old one and visiting teams feel the mystique.

yankee-stadium.jpgNow, it’s time to see if that magic can hold back the Phillies.

As for last night’s YH? You certainly could argue that Alex Rodriguez had a fabulous day at the plate. He had two hits and walked 3 times as the Angels had suffered enough punishment from his Louisville Slugger.

But, it all comes down to producing runs and nobody did a better job at that than Johnny Damon.

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Congrats Johnny – You are Yesterday’s Hitter!